A two-week joint exercise of the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard concluded this week, not far from a similar execise of the Russian navy. Photo by MCS3 Olympia McCoy/U.S. Navy
June 28 (UPI) -- A drill by the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard near Hawaii, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, coincided with a nearby Russian navy exercise.
The Vinson Carrier Strike Group, which includes the guided missile destroyers USS O'Kane, USS Howard., USS Chafee, USS Dewey and USS Michael Murphy, were joined by the submarine USS Seawolf and Coast Guard cutters USCGC Midgett and USCGC Oliver Berry.
The aircraft and personnel of Carrier Strike Group 1, alongside the naval vessels, and Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 323 also participated.
The two-week drills, near Fort Shaffner, Hawaii, emphasized the Pentagon's Tri-Service Marine Strategy, using the three service branches as a single, unified force. They included a simulated targeting of an aircraft carrier with missiles.
"Our integrated Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard team is the world's finest maritime force," said Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, the commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet. "Synchronizing our capabilities through combined operations sharpens our edge and reinforces our commitment to a stable and secure global maritime environment."
The Russian navy drills occurred about 400 miles west of Hawaii, and involved over 20 warships, submarines and support vessels.
"Two detachments of ships, operating at a distance of about 2.5 thousand miles southeast of the Kuril Islands, worked out the tasks of detecting, countering and launching missile strikes on the aircraft carrier strike group of the mock enemy," a statement on Monday by the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The Russian effort also included a refueling exercise.
"As part of the exercise over the Pacific Ocean, long-range aircraft refueled from a specialized Il-78 refueling aircraft of the Russian Air Force," the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry added.
"The refueling was carried out at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters [124,400 feet] at a speed of 500-600 kilometers [310 to 372 miles] per hour," the ministry said.
Despite their proximity, the two exercises did not intersect.